We got tho the lake this morning and the fog was so thick that you could not see the opposite shore 500m away. We don’t launch under those conditions. A pity too because there was no wind and the water was oily smooth. We waited about 30 minutes and it started to clear. There was still very little wind, and it was quite cool, maybe around 40F. The water was fabulous! The featured image is at 8:30, right when I was finishing my main piece.
The plan for today was another head race simulation. My last before the racing starts next weekend up in Lowell.
- 5.5km hard
- rate: r28
- pace: better than 2:12.7 (my previous best pace)
- As always work on good reach at the catch, smooth drive and early finish.
In the warmup to the south end of the lake, I tried to keep the intensity low. I was rowing with another guy in a single and we basically matched pace. As I got closer to the end, I cranked up to target pace and just got loose and ready for the piece. I was pressed for time after our fog delay, so I took a minimal rest, drank a little water and set off on the main piece.
Less than 500m into the piece, I was hit by a massive wake from a waterskiing boat. It stopped me dead in the water for a couple of strokes. But, I got back in the groove and was pleased to see that I could hold under a 2:10 without going crazy. It felt like a nice pressure. About 400m later, I was hit with another wake. This one was smaller and I could keep rowing through it, but at half slide and with blades on the water.
Over the next 1500m, I started to feel the effects of my fast start, and the splits started to climb into the 2:10 to 2:15 range. I just focused on mechanics. Reach far and finish clean. Reach far and finish clean. This got me to the narrows where I was waked one more time. Again not so bad, but it cost me a few strokes at full pressure.
From there to the bridge was pretty painful. I was hurting and just trying to keep it together. There was a stretch where I was struggling with a cross chop from the wakes bouncing off the shore lines and coming back in unpredictable ways. At steady state pressure these would have been no big deal, but I was tired enough that they really made it hard to stay in a smooth rhythm. I was glad to get under the bridge and know that I had about 2K left.
I lifted the rate after the bridge. I wasn’t hitting the target rate in the south end of the lake, but now I was. I was also desperately counting strokes, trying to make sure that I didn’t get ahead of myself and trying to stay in the moment, just focusing on mechanics and technique. I hit all the milestones at the right stroke counts and I knew that I would finish up right at about 700 strokes for the whole piece. I started a final push with about 400m to go and finished with a 2:00 split on the speedcoach.
I was gassed. I panted for a half a minute then paddled up to the top of the lake. I had a drink, took my feet out and then paddled back toward our dock. I did about 1000m of steady rowing, then 500m of slow roll ups, then 500m of square blades and that was about it.
Even with the 3 wakings, I managed to beat my previous best pace by half a second (2:12.2 vs 2:12.7). Excluding the one big wake, the pace was 2:10.8. Even better, the average HR for this piece was 168 versus 176 for the piece where I did 2:12.7. I’m happy with that and I think I’ll have a beer.
Tomorrow: Steady State. Training plan calls for rate ladders. I plan to do them
1000 @ 16, 1000 @ 18, rest of the distance @ 20
I will also row with a HR cap at 150.